Summer Tortellini Salad is a quick and easy pasta salad side dish for your next gathering! This delicious tortellini pasta salad is packed with chopped cherry tomatoes, fresh arugula, parmesan cheese and is tossed with a light vinaigrette.
Summer Tortellini Salad with Arugula has the perfect balance of cheese, pasta and veggies. This salad can be enjoyed anytime of the year, however, I think it is particularly perfect for summer days at the park, on the boat or at the beach.
A pasta salad is the classic side dish that shows up at every BBQ, backyard party and birthday party. The next time you're assigned to make the pasta salad, skip the mayonnaise based macaroni salad and try something new!
My Summer Tortellini Salad recipe is full of light, fresh ingredients. It's still satisfying and filling though thanks to the cheesy tortellini.
This tortellini salad recipe would go really well with my Grilled Chicken Caprese Sandwich!
Another delicious, mayo free pasta salad you need to try is my Pesto Pasta Salad with Sundried Tomatoes.
Why you'll love this recipe
- It can be made in under 20 minutes. This means less time is spent inside in the kitchen!
- This recipe does not contain any mayonnaise, therefore no worries about food spoiling on a hot day!
- The salad stores easily and actually tastes better a couple hours after it is made. Simply pop it into some Tupperware and throw it in a cooler with an ice pack!
- Parmesan cheese
- Cherry tomatoes
- Red onion
- Fresh Parsley
You'll also need the following list of ingredients to make the vinaigrette. These are not pictured above. Luckily, they are all pantry and refrigerator staples!
- Olive oil
- Rice vinegar
- Lemon juice
- Garlic powder, dried oregano, salt & pepper
This is a quick and easy salad recipe with only a few short steps!
Step 1: Cook tortellini according to package instructions. One of the (many) reasons I love using tortellini is because it only takes about 4 minutes to cook once your water is boiling! Take note that I use the family size package of tortellini for this recipe which is 20 ounces. After the tortellini has finished cooking, drain the pasta water and set the cooked tortellini aside.
Step 2: While the tortellini is cooking, mix together the ingredients for the vinaigrette. Add all vinaigrette ingredients to a small mixing bowl and whisk together until fully combined.
Step 3: Add the tortellini, parsley, cherry tomatoes, red onion, arugula and the parmesan cheese to a large mixing bowl. Toss to combine. Pour the vinaigrette over the tortellini, vegetable and cheese mixture and mix until thoroughly combined. You can enjoy this salad immediately or let it chill in the fridge until you are ready to serve.
- If you're short on time, you can make your pasta in advance. Cook the tortellini the day or night before you will be making your salad.
- You could make the vinaigrette ahead of time too!
- Cook your tortellini according to package instructions. You know tortellini is done when it floats to the top of the boiling water. This usually happens in under 5 minutes! Keep a close eye on the tortellini and don't let it overcook. Tortellini can start to fall apart if it's overcooked.
- As soon as the tortellini has finished cooking, drain the boiling water and rinse the tortellini with cold water.
- I've only tested this recipe with fresh tortellini. I've never tried it with frozen or dried tortellini.
- Tortellini - This is a bright and colorful salad. If you would like even more color, try making this with multicolored tortellini!
- Add protein - If you would like to add some protein to this pasta salad recipe, try adding in grilled chicken, grilled shrimp or cannellini beans!
- Vinaigrette - Try switching up your vinaigrette. You could try a fresh basil pesto vinaigrette, Italian dressing or a balsamic dressing.
- Cheese - In addition to, or in place of parmesan cheese, you could add in fresh mozzarella balls or feta cheese.
- Greens - If arugula is too peppery for you, try spinach instead.
- Veggies - Substitute out the cherry tomatoes for red bell pepper.
- Herbs - Swap out fresh parsley for fresh basil. Parsley and basil are distinctly different in flavor. However, if you don't have fresh parsley, then fresh basil would be a delicious substitution.
Summer Tortellini Salad will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days. If you plan on serving it at a party though, I would only make it up to 24 hours in advance. Store leftovers in the fridge in a sealed container.
This pasta salad recipe will not freeze well.
- 5 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- Juice of half a lemon
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 ½ teaspoons garlic powder
Remaining Salad Ingredients
- 20 ounces cheese tortellini (family sized package)
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes - halved
- ¼ cup diced red onion
- ¼ cup diced fresh parsley
- 1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
- Fresh arugula - 1 large handful
- Cook the tortellini according to package instructions. Drain the cooked tortellini, rinse with cold water and set aside.
- While the tortellini is cooking, make the vinaigrette. Add all of the vinaigrette ingredients (olive oil, rice vinegar, lemon juice, salt, pepper, oregano & garlic powder) to a small mixing bowl and whisk to combine.
- Add the remaining salad ingredients to a large mixing bowl (cooked tortellini, cherry tomatoes, red onion, fresh parsley, parmesan cheese & arugula) and toss to combine.
- Pour the vinaigrette over the tortellini, parmesan cheese and veggies and stir all ingredients together.
- Serve and enjoy!
- You can store this salad in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Category: side dish, lunch
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Vegetarian
Keywords: summer tortellini salad, tortellini salad